Comic Book Review: Secret Weapons #3
Last month’s issue made the statement that psiots aren’t all equal and this was the best exploration which further establishes Harada as the monster we know him to be. It was sad to see the lives they livd after Harada threw them away, but like I keep saying this is the story never told that we inevitably needed to get around to. Not all of them could be the badasses we see in the big man’s army and now we know what happens when you aren’t one of the lucky.
Secret Weapons #3 shakes things up where we are getting the perspective from someone who is both a psiot and Sikh. What I like about the situation presented is that this world already follows the same problems we face in the real world. Though when you toss in the additional label of being a psiot, that makes a difficult like quite dangerous. Being psiot then becomes no different from being seen as another immigrant/foreigner/terrorist. It was in this moment that you could understand the anger and frustration which created his outburst to Amanda and the others in the issue before. What someone like Avi goes through was a tough pill to swallow but you love this book all the more that they don’t try to hold our hands through the reality of this situation. The problem is everyone who is not like Avi or psiot. Police, citizens, students, all people you unfortunately have to fear because you can’t properly defend yourself the way most others can.
I hate going to the mutant or mutate well because this is its own thing, but this is real development for the world of psiots. There had to be more than just those forced to activate, taken before they can activate, or kidnapped for their ability upon activation. After the list, there had to be real world consequences for being different
For Nikki and Owen this was as well an important time to address what being psiots mean to them. Nikki has more of the hero spirit in her, but it doesn’t mean Owen shares the same. Maybe when it counts, but this was the perfect test to prove that psiots like them need to look out for their own. From the look of the cover, there was at least some expectation from Owen and I don’t think anyone would be disappointed either by what he achieves. This book has put a strong emphasis on these guys proving that they aren’t useless which from what we have seen is far from the case. There’s something so much more engaging about people who require a little more application to the way they use their powers than it being as simple as pointing a finger.
Livewire doesn’t have that big of a part here, though it is good that at the very least they aren’t showing a struggle to force too much going on at once. Being able to either focus on Livewire or the other psiots is the right idea to have approaching a mini like Secret Weapons.
Raul Allen and Patricia Martin knock it out of the park with this issue if you ask me. I knew ell ahead that Secret Weapons would be a pretty grounded story, but I wasn’t expecting this kind of engagement. Especially from the artwork. This issue took us into the actual life of someone who is different for both his lifestyle and for being a psiot. The use of phones and cams for perspective in certain panels was brilliant considering how we live in a world where all it takes is a picture or video spread on social media to out someone. It can save someone, or it can put someone in danger like Avi who unfortunately thought it was possible to live a normal life after that list was released. The use of his powers here caught me off guard. He is clearly someone who has figured himself out despite not being very proud of the label of psiot. The transition between flesh and stone was flawless and I also like the way they use pink backgrounds as a means of distinction for when they use their powers. That aside, the reaction shots are also great in the moment where something significant happens.
After an issue like Secret Weapons #3, I definitely would love to see more from Eric Heisserer. He’s not the only screenwriter to tackle comics, but he proves what happens when you really immerse yourself in the world you are trying to expand upon. Anyone can definitely jump into this, and it gets more personal than any of the other psiot stories could having more established characters. This creative team as a whole understands what they are setting up here and a big stepping stone for the psiots to make their presence known in the Valiant Universe. It can be as much a story of survival as it is a story about superheroics.